Chelsea were able to easily dispose of Stoke City last Monday, to show that they really can do it on a cold night at the Britannia Stadium. More significantly they were able to regain their three point lead over Manchester City and go into Christmas as league leaders, an advantage they've managed to maintain heading towards New Years day.
So with Jose Mourinho and co in full flow, what are the reasons behind their dominant display this season?
The first thing one expects from a Mourinho side is defensive stability, no matter what the personnel. Whether it is his treble-winning Porto side or his all conquering Inter Milan, the Portuguese always prioritises building a strong back-line before having a blistering attacking force. And although his current Chelsea side haven't been as solid at the back as last season they still have a very good foundation, built around the defensive duo of John Terry and Gary Cahill.
Terry & Cahill the backbone of Chelsea's success
The two Englishmen have built a superb understanding between each other and have been magnificent for the past couple of seasons. The early part of his Chelsea career was a struggle for Cahill but since Terry has regained form and fitness, the two have looked as solid as any centre-back pairing in Europe.
Their biggest trait is that they both possess individual quality and so neither of them is pulling the other's weight. Not to mention the fact that one of them is always there to cover in case the other one makes a mistake. Keeping both of them fit so far has been a big plus for Chelsea.
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Matic is now arguably Chelsea's most important player
However as good as the English duo are, the biggest credit for the Blues solid defensive line goes to the excellent Nemanja Matic. Since his return to Stamford Bridge the strongly built Serbian has been nothing short of sensational. He has gone about his work without any fuss, breaking up opposition attacks and keeping his centre-backs protected.
The former Benfica man has every attribute you could want from a defensive midfielder. He has strength, pace, great positional sense, is very good at tackling and can even score a goal from time to time, a true perfect package.
The way he is able to sit back and keep everything in check not only helps out his defence but also allows the attacking players to roam forward with more freedom. The biggest benefactor from the Serbian's superb defensive play has to be the Blues leading assist maker Cesc Fabregas.
Fabregas shining at Stamford Bridge
With Matic beside him to take care of all the dirty work, the Spaniard has been able to dictate play and find his team-mates in advanced positions as well as venture forward himself on occasions. Another plus for Mourinho and co has been the fact that they were able to do superb business in the summer. It desperate need for a top quality striker, Chelsea went out and got exactly that in Diego Costa.
The £32 million pound signing from Athletico Madrid has been in excellent form since the start of the season and has given the Blues that strong presence up top they were missing last season. He has already scored 12 goals for the club and could prove to be the difference come May.
Hazard finally delivering consistently
Another player who has performed superbly this season has been Eden Hazard. The 23-year-old has been in mesmerizing form and has been a major source of creativity and finesse. He has on occasion single handedly helped the Blues cross the line and one does wonder where Chelsea would be had they not been able to convince the Belgian to choose Stamford Bridge two years ago.
But despite all the amazing talent the Londoners possess, a major amount of the credit for their superb first half of the season goes to Jose Mourinho. The self proclaimed 'Special One' has revolutionised Chelsea's style of play since returning to the helm. You may not always agree with his methods but one thing is for sure, he nearly always gets the result he wants and that is great if you're a Blues fan.
Tactically he is one of the best in the world at the moment and the way he has been able to turn the team into this well oiled machine is a great compliment to his talents. All in all things are looking great for Chelsea and their supporters and a road full of silverware seems to be their destiny at the moment.
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